Anesthetic-Free Dentistry (NAD) is FRAUD…so beware!

Anesthetic-Free Dentistry (NAD) is FRAUD…so beware!

There are a few current fads that are detrimental like driving while texting, binge diets…and non-anesthetic dentistry.  Anesthetic-Free Dentistry (AFD)??  Yep, the proponents claim they can adequately scale, polish, probe and even diagnose periodontal disease by manually restraining a pet.  Not only is it virtually impossible to perform a complete dental prophylaxis on a conscious pet, but also impossible to probe for periodontal pockets on the 6 angles recommended for each multi-rooted tooth.  A dog or cat will absolutely not allow this when done properly.   In addition, these AFD folks cannot take dental x-rays that complete a true ‘diagnostic’ examination.  A recent study indicated 27% of dogs and 30% cats have disease NEEDING TREATMENT that can only be diagnosed with dental x-rays so this important aspect of periodontal care is totally disregarded.  The American Veterinary Dental College (of which I am a member) and the American Animal Hospital Association both agree that ‘cleaning a companion animal’s teeth without general anesthesia is considered unacceptable’.   Still think NAD is a good idea?


I will say this as succinctly as I can…NAD is FRAUD.  Even when putting lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.  The proponents of this fad claim to do just as good of a job as a Veterinary Dental Specialist like myself.  That is pure nonsense.  These people also work on your emotions saying you don’t have to anesthetize your dog or cat, which has always been a fear in many minds.   Don’t let that dictate whether or not to sedate your beloved pet. It may, however, compel you to ask important questions regarding your pet’s dental procedure.  Then request a capable person that takes anesthesia very seriously, addresses pain management responsibly, keeps your pet thermally regulated while relaxed, cleans above and below the gumline, probes each tooth separately and effectively, performs dental x-rays, and educates you on home dental care and prevention. (See previous blog on what compromises an Oral ATP ‘assessment, treatment, and prevention‘ and why each is needed).

In the future, I will be posting images on my website and Facebook of patients that previously received AFD procedure that had tremendous oral disease.  Unfortunately, the pet owner was lulled into a false sense of security thinking their pet was treated properly.

AFD is not practicing good dental medicine, so don’t get suckered in to this fad…it’s still a pig…lipstick or not!

Dr. G (Your Pet Dentist)